fresh voices from the front lines of change








Barb Kalbach

Medicare For All Is A Matter Of Life Or Death For Rural America

Rural hospitals are often the economic heart of a community. Worse, when minutes mean the difference between life and death, every hospital that closes leaves patients in danger. Since 2010, 113 rural hospitals have closed their doors, leaving more than 30 million Americans an hour or more away from critical care. As many as 700 more are in danger of closing. There are many reasons rural hospitals are hurting, but for-profit insurance companies are the nail in the coffin. Over decades, these multibillion-dollar companies have driven premium costs up and put profits over patients. More and more patients can’t afford insurance and can’t pay their hospital bills, leaving rural hospitals and hospitals in low-income areas left holding the bag. Insurance companies are now working hard to shift the blame and stop the movement for Medicare for All. They are gobbling up airtime in Iowa and across rural America to attack Medicare for All. They claim it would hurt the very same hospitals their business model has spent years bleeding dry. We can’t let big pharma and billion-dollar insurance companies pull a bait and switch. Rural America needs Medicare for All, not more big corporations lining their own pockets and paying PR firms to hide the truth.

Barb Kalbach is a fourth-generation family farmer who has worked for more than 10 years as a cardiac rehab nurse in a rural hospital in central Iowa. She’s the president of the board of the Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund, and is one of the hosts of the Iowa People's Presidential Forum in Des Moines this Saturday, September 21 from noon to 5 p.m. CST.

Warren Draws Surging Crowd In NYC

Warren campaign estimates 20,000 people attend New York City rally. The Hill: "Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) campaign estimated that 20,000 people attended a rally for her 2020 bid Monday night in New York City's Washington Square Park. The Warren campaign told The Hill more than 20,000 people came out, but the campaign stopped counting attendees once the top tier presidential hopeful started her speech. It is Warren's biggest rally so far, according to the campaign. Warren, currently polling as one of the top three 2020 Democratic candidates, has been attracting large crowds to rallies across the country. Last month the campaign estimated a 15,000 person crowd at an event in Seattle and 12,000 at her first campaign stop in Minnesota. Warren’s speech in New York focussed on her plan to end corruption in Washington and was given the same day the candidate unveiled her proposal to tackle the issue in all branches of government. Warren picked the site for her speech based on its proximity to the site of the former Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the site of the 1911 fire that killed more than 100 workers, mainly women and girls. Workplace reform and fighting exploitation of workers has been a key issue in the senator’s campaign and career."

Pentagon Brakes Border Wall Construction

Pentagon puts brakes on 3 border barrier projects because of cost. Politico: "The Defense Department is no longer moving forward with three border barrier projects in California and Arizona, according to a court filing Monday The move is a reversal of an earlier Pentagon authorization for about 20 miles of fencing, lighting and other border infrastructure that would have used $2.5 billion in funds redirected from a counter-drug fund. That authorization, announced Aug. 27, was based on what was then determined to be "lower-than-expected contract costs." But the Defense Department revealed in the Monday filing that the department would not be able to cover the costs of the project. The Defense Department initially authorized the funding after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined that it would likely be able to afford the projects using the counter-drug funds, but the Army Corps said it would not know the full financial situation until later in the fiscal year. The Army Corps ultimately advised the department that the funds would not cover the project, prompting its withdrawal on Sept. 13, according to a document attached to the court filing. The border projects are part of a larger effort by the Trump administration to use Pentagon funds to deliver on President Donald Trump's keystone campaign promise of a border wall. Earlier this year, the president demanded Congress come up with billions of dollars for a wall on the border with Mexico. After Congress declined that request and the government went into its longest shutdown in U.S. history, Trump declared a national emergency to divert defense funds toward border barriers."

U.S. Enacts New Asylum Bar

U.S. enacts sweeping new asylum bar following Supreme Court decision. Reuters: "The U.S. Supreme Court last week allowed a Trump administration rule to temporarily take effect that will radically reduce the number of migrants eligible to seek U.S. asylum. Judges and asylum officers are now being directed to implement it. Immigration is central to U.S. President Donald Trump’s agenda and the government has said the new rule will reduce fraudulent asylum claims, while immigrant advocates say it risks returning vulnerable migrants to danger and even death. The legal challenges against the rule are ongoing - in courts in California and Washington D.C. - but the long process to decide whether it is unlawful will likely continue past the 2020 elections, legal experts say. In the interim, tens of thousands of asylum claims are likely to be denied."

NYC DA Subpoenas Trump Tax Returns

8 years of Trump tax returns are subpoenaed by Manhattan DA. NYT: "State prosecutors in Manhattan have subpoenaed President Trump’s accounting firm to demand eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns, according to several people with knowledge of the matter. The subpoena opens a new front in a wide-ranging effort to obtain copies of the president’s tax returns, which Mr. Trump initially said he would make public during the 2016 campaign but has since refused to disclose. The subpoena was issued by the Manhattan district attorney’s office late last month, soon after it opened a criminal investigation into the role that the president and his family business played in hush-money payments made in the run-up to the election. Both Mr. Trump and his company reimbursed Michael D. Cohen, the president’s former lawyer and fixer, for money Mr. Cohen paid to buy the silence of Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film actress who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. The president has denied the affair."

Purged Voter Rolls Forced GOP Victory In NC House Vote

Jim Crow Steals Election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. Truthout: "Stolen again. Democrat Dan McCready supposedly lost the special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District to Republican Dan Bishop by less than 4,000 votes. However, racially biased vote suppression schemes easily account for the supposed GOP victory margin. Under the violently partisan Elections Board chief Kim Strach (pronounced 'Strake') — her husband was the attorney for the state’s Republican Party — North Carolina targeted half a million voters (561,693) based on the measurably racist and absurdly wrong Crosscheck list created by the discredited Kris Kobach of Kansas. The vote scam, which I exposed for Rolling Stone and Al Jazeera, showed that well over 100,000 voters were wrongly purged for supposedly being registered or voting in two states. I met one of those dastardly double voters, Kevin Antonio Hayes in Durham, North Carolina. Kevin Antonio was supposedly the same voter as Kevin Thomas Hayes of Virginia. Mr. Hayes is, like most on the Crosscheck list, a voter of color. In 2014, I watched Strach give blatantly false testimony to the North Carolina legislature to get approval for the Crosscheck mass purge. The chart presented by Strach claims that 155,692 voters in Carolina voted in a second state in the same election, a felony a crime. Yet, after a year of investigation, they could not find one such double voter. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of voters lost their right to vote for a crime for which none were found guilty let alone charged."

Pin It on Pinterest

Spread The Word!

Share this post with your networks.